Body with sliced lip, disfigured nose at Nyaradzo funeral parlour
Nyaradzo Funeral Services Group has been implicated in a mutilation scandal where a lip of a corpse was cut off and a nose damaged while in custody of the company whose branch is located at Herbert Chitepo in Harare.
Patricia Mhizha (46) died in Zvishavane on Saturday after suffering from heart disease. Nehanda Radio spoke to the deceased’s twin brother Patrick Mhizha who confirmed that he discovered that her lip was cut off during Nyaradzo’s care.
“Ndini ndakatanga kusvika kumoona after news of my sister’s death. The body was okay before Nyaradzo took it,” he said.
He further revealed that the attending doctor in Zvishavane, nurses and a mortician confirmed that the corpse had no defects.
“We made payments on Sunday to Nyaradzo and all paperwork was done,” he said.
“They called informing us that the body had arrived safely and that we should bring blankets and clothes for the dressing.
“On Monday at Nyaradzo Herbert Chitepo branch, I was asked to check an unusual defect on the corpse after my cousins had gone in first.
“I was shocked to see my sister had her lip cut off and the nose was disfigured.
“I asked them about it and the driver who took the body from Zvishavane denied knowing anything saying the corpse was transported in that state.”
Nehanda Radio has also listened to phone records between Patrick and a mortician identified as Ngorima from Zvishavane which recalled the circumstances before Nyaradzo funeral services group took over.
“The body was in good shape and you noticed everything was ok, what happened, and what are the people of Nyaradzo saying,” queried Ngorima.
Nehanda Radio has it on record again that Nyaradzo Group operations manager Justin Chidemo Muchazivepi told the deceased’s relatives yesterday that they “could have failed to notice the defect since mourners are not comfortable body viewing at close range”.
Muchazivepi dismissed body mutilation allegations saying it could have been a rat bite.
“We have CCTV camera all over our premises and trackers attached to our vehicles to notice anything unusual but we never know what could have happened, it’s speculation,” he said.
He added: “We don’t have any reason to deny anything but we just want to investigate the circumstances leading to this mishap.”
The matter has since been reported to the Harare Central police station. Investigation officers said “we are yet to conclude the case waiting for further information.”
The remains of Patricia were set to be buried on Tuesday but the ceremony has since been postponed to allow police investigations.
Nyaradzo CEO Philip Mataranyika send a public statement to Nehanda Radio when he was contacted for a comment.
The communique confirmed the incident adding that engagements between the company and family were ongoing.
“On the 15th day of May 2022, we transferred into our care from a government hospital mortuary in Zvishavane, the body of one female deceased who had passed on at a private medical centre in Zvishavane, albeit with lower lip and nose lacerations,” read the statement.
“Collaborative efforts are underway between ourselves, her family, the place of initial care, the police as well as the forensic pathology unit to ascertain the facts of this unfortunate occurrence.
“We would like to reassure our clients and the public at large that we appreciate their concern wherein such sensitive matters occur, and affirm our commitment to following all procedural requirements applicable to issues of this nature, to the satisfaction of all parties concerned.
“We remain committed to providing professional end of life services, attending to each and every client’s needs in order to ensure a dignified send-off for our dear departed.”